ITC Students Partner with SU's Shaw Center in 'Food Busters' Lab

     Published on 12/4/15   Tagged under:   

In Vicki Parvese’s Culinary Arts class, students were learning about nutritional levels of different fats. In Ann Marie Furcinito’s SUPA Forensic Science class, students were learning about the chemical makeup of fats.
But, in partnership with the Syracuse University Shaw Center for Public and Community Service and the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, the classes recently worked together on a “Food Busters” lab to determine the health value of different types of fats. In preparation for the lab, culinary students baked more than 600 cookies—200 made with butter, 200 made with oil and 200 made with applesauce.
Culinary Arts junior Maiya White explained, “We’re figuring out how much fat is in cookies based on which ingredient was used. I think oil will taste the best but butter will have the most fat because it has the most calories in it. It’s nice to combine classes, because the people who aren’t in culinary get to see what it’s like and get to learn what’s in what they’re eating!”
SUPA Forensic Science junior Soloman Lawrence agreed that the new perspective was interesting. “I haven’t done this before in any other class—it was definitely exciting to be taste testing cookies,” he exclaimed. “We’re examining the physical properties of fats and how that will change when you bake it. Butter will burn a bit, for instance. We also saw the health impact of different types of fats have on you in terms of saturated versus unsaturated.”
From the teaching perspective, Ms. Furcinito said the collaboration between programs was a great experience for all involved.
“It’s fun to combine classes,” she explained. “It allows students to mentor each other, using their different expertise. Sometimes, we have different age ranges and we’ll see freshmen working with seniors. And with the students from the Shaw Center, our students get to see the directions they could go if they stay in the field. All this cross-curriculum work gives students a wider mindset about these concepts they’re learning about.”
Shaw Center student Christina LiPuma, a senior majoring in Nutrition at SU, is a Nutrition Volunteer Coordinator at the Shaw Center. She and some of her classmates who are studying to become registered dietitians served as instructors during the Food Busters lab and said the experience was invaluable.
“It was great to work with the SCSD students because each student interpreted and connected with the lesson materials differently,” she said. “Many of the students were curious about what they should be eating and were confused by the information they were getting from the media and the Internet. While we formally taught them a lesson about fats, informally we were able to answer questions from curious students about what college is like and how to make healthy food choices. We have learned so much from them, too!”
Thank you to these SU students for sharing their knowledge with the ITC students in such an engaging way!